Winners of Great Taste

The top entries in our outdoor recipe contest will please even the pickiest eaters on any camp-out.


Clockwise from upper left: Best of Both Potatoes, Ray’s World Famous Bread Puddin’, Butternut Bake, and Mandarin Orange Chicken.

© 2001 Haverfield Studios

Think it’s hard getting Scouts to eat their vegetables on a camp-out? You won’t if you cook Debra Moore’s Butternut Bake. It’s the grand-prize winner in Scouting magazine’s “Great Tastes in Camp Cooking” recipe contest.

Your troop’s pickiest eater won’t pass up this Dutch-oven combination of butternut squash and sliced apples. Of course, it’s hard to refuse a vegetable dish cooked with brown sugar and butter. Contest judge Dian Thomas calls it “One of the nicest side dishes I have ever tasted. Easy to prepare and cook … excellent with pork chops or pork roast.”

Nearly 400 readers entered the magazine’s contest, submitting their favorite outdoor recipes for entrees, side dishes, and desserts. Our panel of judges picked the top entries in each category, and the magazine’s editors selected the grand-prize winner. The winners are:

Grand Prize

  • Debra Moore, Troop 131 assistant Scoutmaster, Sutton Mass.

Entrees

Side Dishes

Desserts

As the grand-prize winner, Debra Moore, an assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 131, Sutton, Mass., receives a $400 BSA Supply Division gift certificate.

Other winners in each category will receive Supply Division gift certificates in the amounts of: $300—1st Place; $200—2nd Place; and $100—3rd Place.

In addition, all winners will receive a Pulse compact multipurpose tool, courtesy of Leatherman Tool Group Inc.


Grand Prize


© 2001 Haverfield Studios

Butternut Bake

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 apples
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Peel squash and remove seeds; cut into 1/2-inch slices. Put into buttered 12-inch Dutch oven.

Core and peel apples. Slice and place over squash.

Combine melted butter, flour, brown sugar, and nutmeg. Pour over squash and apples.

Put lid on oven and place oven over coals. Place coals on top of lid and bake 45 minutes until tender.

Serves 6.


Entrees

1st Place — Mandarin Orange Chicken


© 2001 Haverfield Studios
  • 3 12 1/2-oz. cans canned chicken
  • 2 envelopes dry onion soup mix
  • 1 8-oz. can water chestnuts, drained
  • 2 8-oz. cans pineapple chunks, undrained
  • 2 11-oz. cans mandarin oranges, undrained
  • fresh ground pepper added to taste

On stove top over low heat, brown chicken in nonstick skillet. Remove chicken when browned; discard any grease.

Combine onion soup mix, water chestnuts, pineapple chunks, and mandarin oranges. Pour over chicken placed in large pot with lid.

Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until done. Serve over rice or with corn chips.

Serves 6 to 8 hungry Scouts.

2nd Place — Peachy Dutch Oven French Toast

Egg mixture ingredients:

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 loaf of French or Italian bread, sliced
  • 1/2 pound butter or margarine
  • 1 pound brown sugar
  • 3 one-pound cans of peaches, drained and quartered

Heat a large Dutch oven by covering it with coals for 15 minutes.

Beat the eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Slice the bread and let it soak in the egg mixture.

Remove preheated oven from coals and melt butter in the bottom. Add brown sugar and mix well with butter until caramelized. Put the drained peaches over the caramelized sugar. Place the egg-bread mixture on top of the peaches, cover with lid, and return the Dutch oven to the coals.

Bake 45 minutes at about 350 degrees (medium hot coals). (Cooking time is shorter if the temperature is higher, but watch the edges so they don’t burn.) For the first 10 minutes, use coals on the bottom only. Then add coals to the oven top and continue baking until done. With the caramel topping, you probably won’t even need syrup.

Option: Try substituting 3 pounds sliced bananas for peaches.

Serves 8.

3rd Place — Chicken Couscous With Sun-dried Tomatoes and Broccoli

  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil, look like dry red prunes)
  • 1 1/2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 1 package of couscous (chicken flavor)
  • water (1/2 cup more than couscous recipe calls for)

Cut sun-dried tomatoes into 1/4-inch strips. Place in water and bring to a light boil. Tomatoes will start to turn the water red.

Add broccoli. When broccoli is almost to preferred tenderness (about 3 minutes), add couscous (and its spice packet), and chicken chunks. Lower heat on stove to simmer.

When couscous is cooked according to the directions on the package, remove from heat.

Let sit for 3 minutes, uncovered, then fluff and serve.

Serves 2 to 3.


Side Dishes

1st Place — Best of Both Potatoes


© 2001 Haverfield Studios
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 medium red potatoes sliced very thin, into 1/16-inch slices
  • 1 large sweet potato sliced thin, into 1/8-inch slices
  • 1/2 small onion sliced thin, into 1/8-inch slices
  • 2 links Polish sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Heat 1/4 cup of oil over medium heat in black skillet or Dutch oven. Add onions, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly because sweet potatoes tend to stick to the bottom. Add remaining oil as needed. Then add sausage and gradually sprinkle in salt and pepper. Cook until potatoes are very soft and then add butter and sugar. Stir well and cook for about 1 minute and serve.

Covering skillet will speed up cooking time.

Serves 6 to 8.

2nd Place — Potatoes Walz

(Named for its creator, Eagle Scout Gary Walz)

  • 1 large potato per person
  • butter or margarine
  • grated Parmesan cheese (or Cheddar, Jack, or whatever is available)
  • seasoning salt
  • garlic powder
  • dried minced onion (or fresh minced onion or onion powder)
  • dried parsley flakes
  • Italian seasoning
  • any other seasonings you like—Mesquite seasoning, etc.
  • nonstick cooking spray

Slice potatoes in thin (1/8-inch) slices like potato chips.

Lay out a sheet of aluminum foil. Spray nonstick cooking spray on foil.

Lay sliced potatoes on aluminum foil in rows. Fan them like cards so they overlap but still spread out.

Sprinkle seasonings and cheese over the top of all potatoes. Dot with butter or margarine.

Seal potatoes in foil and cook on coals until potatoes are soft.

3rd Place — Cheese Grits for 30

  • 6 quarts water
  • 6 teaspoons salt
  • 6 cups instant grits
  • 1 1/2 pounds butter or margarine
  • 6 6-oz. rolls garlic cheese*
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 3 cups milk

Grease a 16-inch Dutch oven and pour in water. Add salt to water and bring to a boil. Slowly stir in grits. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly (following directions on grits box). Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese. Mix eggs and milk in bowl. Stir into grits. Put lid on oven. Put 19 coals on top and 13 coals on bottom and bake for 11/2 hours, letting out the steam every so often. Cook until grits are firm and not runny. A toothpick should come out clean. Don’t get in a hurry. You may need to add more coals if it takes longer.

* You can substitute processed cheese and just add garlic powder if desired.


Desserts

1st Place — Ray’s World Famous Bread Puddin’


© 2001 Haverfield Studios
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 slices of white bread
  • butter or margarine, enough to spread on 1 side of 8 slices of bread
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • cinnamon to taste
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups raisins
  • aluminum foil for easy cleanup

Beat eggs and milk together and set aside.

Butter 4 slices of bread on one side and lay in single layer (butter-side down) in the bottom of a foil-lined 10- or 12-inch Dutch oven.

Spread half of the applesauce over the bread layer. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon. Put half of the brown sugar over the cinnamon and applesauce. Scatter all the raisins over the brown sugar. Cut the other four slices of bread diagonally and butter. Set them butter-side down over the raisins.

Spread the remainder of the applesauce over the bread. Put the rest of the brown sugar over the applesauce and sprinkle generously with cinnamon.

Pour the egg-and-milk mixture over and down between the slices of bread. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and let the bread soak up the egg-and-milk mixture for 30 minutes.

Bake covered for 45 minutes at 350 degrees (4 hot charcoal briquettes under the Dutch oven and 12 to 15 hot briquettes on top). Come back when the briquettes are burned out. Cool and slice. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream, or milk.

Serves 4 hungry Boy Scouts.

2nd Place — Dutch Oven Apple Dumplings

  • 5 Granny Smith apples
  • 2 large (10 per package) dairy-case cans of large-size buttermilk biscuits
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 sticks butter
  • cinnamon or apple pie spice

Core apples and peel them (if desired). Slice each apple into 8 pieces for a total of 40 slices.

Divide each biscuit into 2 pieces. Wrap apple slices with dough. Grease a 12-inch Dutch oven and place dumplings in oven. Heat water, sugar, and butter together in separate pot (do not bring to boil). Pour mixture over dumplings. Sprinkle cinnamon or pie spice over dumplings.

Put Dutch oven over 8 to 10 charcoal briquettes, and place 10 to 14 briquettes on top of oven. Check after 20 minutes. Dumplings are done when apples are soft and dough is brown.

Serves 10 to 15 Scouts or 20 leaders.

3rd Place — Amethyst Crumble

Filling:

  • 3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour*

Topping:

  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, chilled and cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1 1/2 cups quick-cook oats
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts

Get a good wood fire going; add 16 charcoal briquettes to it in advance of cooking.

In a large bowl combine filling ingredients. Pour into greased Dutch oven. Combine topping ingredients and spoon over berry mixture, spreading evenly over top.

Place 6 to 8 charcoals under Dutch oven and 6 to 8 charcoals on top of lid. Bake until bubbly and top is golden (approximately 45 to 60 minutes). Serve warm.

Serves 6 to 8.

* If you cannot find tapioca flour, substitute cornstarch.



Meet the Judges

Cliff Jacobson (Entrees)

Cliff Jacobson is a professional outfitter for the Science Museum of Minnesota, a wilderness canoeing consultant, and an eighth-grade environmental science teacher.

An Eagle Scout, Jacobson has written 16 books, includingCooking in the Outdoors, a Basic Essentials guidebook published by Globe Pequot Press. He lives in River Falls, Wis.


 

Dian Thomas (Side Dishes)

Dian Thomas is the best-selling author of Roughing It Easy and has made frequent television appearances on the “Today Show,” the Discovery Channel, “Good Morning America,” and Lifetime. Her latest book is Recipes for Roughing It Easy, published by Betterway Publications. She lives in Salt Lake City.


 

John G. Ragsdale (Desserts)

John G. Ragsdale has worked as a volunteer Boy Scout leader for nearly 40 years at the troop, district, and local council levels. He is the author of Dutch Oven Cooking and Camper’s Guide to Outdoor Cooking, published by Gulf Publishing Company, andDutch Ovens Chronicled, published by University of Arkansas Press. Retired from a career in petroleum engineering, he lives is El Dorado, Ark.

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